Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Sea Siren kicks off double for Ballydoyle

Ballydoyle supremo Aidan O'Brien and son Joseph were expected to claim the two Group 3 prizes up for grabs
Ballydoyle supremo Aidan O'Brien and son Joseph were expected to claim the two Group 3 prizes up for grabs

Thomas Kelly

Former Australian star Sea Siren made a winning debut for Aidan O'Brien in the Listed Belgrave Stakes at Fairyhouse.

A triple Group One winner Down Under, the mare had last been seen finishing eighth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, her final run for trainer John O'Shea.

Now part of the Ballydoyle operation, she was a 5/4 chance dropped markedly in class and travelled smoothly all the way for Joseph O'Brien, who settled her in mid-division in the early stages – just off the pace set by Elusive Time.

Making swift progress after turning for home, she did have Russian Soul posing a brief threat but asserted to ultimately win with something in hand, officially by a length and a half.

A daughter of Fastnet Rock, Sea Siren was giving weight all round with her Group One penalty.

"She is an exciting filly by an exciting stallion," observed O'Brien Jnr. "She has loads of pace and a great attitude. She got a little bit idle in front, so I gave her a smack and away she went.

"We've only had her since Ascot and she is very exciting for the big five and six-furlong sprints this season."

The Ballydoyle team completed a short-priced double in the finale as Joseph kept his father's Kingdom up to his work in the final furlong to edge out Zafarqand by half a length.

Earlier, the opening six-furlong auction maiden saw something of a surprise as Boom The Groom made an impressive winning debut for David Marnane and Pat Smullen.

Despite being sent off 10/1, the son of Kodica broke well and made all as Smullen's mount responded generously for pressure to keep 6/4 favourite Colour Bay at bay by just over a length.

Smullen was also expected to figure prominently aboard Dermot Weld's Manhattan Swing in the conditions race but, after drfiting markedly in the betting, the filly trailed in a distant last of six.

Support

Victory went to John Oxx's Majestic Jasmine which rewarded strong market support as the 9/4 favourite finished well to beat Strandfield Lady by just under two lengths in the hands of Declan McDonogh.

Assistant trainer Jim O'Neill said: "We were a little bit worried about whether she would get the (10-furlong) trip. That's as far as she'd want to go. Declan was saying in the last 100 yards she was either idling or tying up. They went a hell of a gallop. She seems to be on the up. I thought that was a better race than the last one she won."

Heuston justified 2/1 joint-favouritism for Reginald Roberts under Ronan Whelan in the six-furlong maiden.

Second on his debut at Dundalk in December, the gelded four-year-old was dropping back from a mile to six furlongs and clearly found it no hindrance, leading two out and keeping on strongly to beat Live Dangerously by half a length.

"He hit the front a furlong too soon," Whelan remarked. "He'll come on no end for that and it will be no bother stepping up a furlong or two. He is quirky but smart."

Roberts added: "He was a bit weak last year and he is still a bit green. Anything bred by the dam (On The Razz) has won."

Ger Lyons has his string in fine form and he landed the six-furlong handicap with Greek Canyon, which was another winner to make all the running as Gary Carroll's mount comfortably saw off Legal Lyric, with stablemate Toccata Blue in third.

Tohugo didn't look to have much chance entering the closing stages in the Children Under 18 Are Free Handicap, but Michael Mulvany's four-year-old (16/1) responded to Tadhg O'Shea's urgings by flying late to pounce on King Of Oriel and win by half a length.

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